Couple from original Troup graduating class to celebrate 60 years of marriage

Published 6:18 pm Thursday, November 15, 2018

In February of 1956, Troup County High School opened its doors to 500 students from Rosemont, Mountville and Gray Hill schools, who attended the newly-constructed school. At the end of the school year, Bobby Roye and 51 of his classmates received their high school diplomas under the guidance of Principal Clayton Bowers. They represented the first graduating class of Troup County High School.

Also attending the new high school that year was a sub-freshman named Wanda (Faye) Johnston. Roye and Johnston did not know each other during high school, but four years later they were married and they will soon celebrate their 60th wedding anniversary.

Although 62 years have passed since his graduation, Roye still has his yearbook entitled “The Trooper.” The quote printed alongside his senior photo reads, “Napoleon was short too.”

Roye started his senior year in 1955 at LaGrange High School. According to him, life was very different back then. In fact, he remembers that the bowling balls did not have holes. He also recalls shoveling coal during the winter months at school. When Roye grew up, most parents worked the second or third shifts in the cotton mills. All the kids listened to vinyl records or gathered at the skating rink. The Collegiate Grill was also a well-known hangout along with the “Y” and the drive-in movie.

Johnston attended Mountville Elementary before she became a sub-freshman at Troup County High. During high school, she was a member of Sunnyside Baptist Church and worked at the Spinning Wheel and Holmes Drug Store. She was a member of the Glee Club, and she participated in the drama club’s production of South Pacific and can still remember wearing poodle skirts, sweaters, crinolines, bobby socks and saddle oxfords to school.

“All the guys wore blue jeans and white tee shirts,” she said.

After high school graduation, Roye joined the Air Force and was stationed at Amarillo, Texas for basic training. He later transferred to Tampa, Florida, at MacDill Air Force Base. In 1957, Roye was granted leave and he returned home to LaGrange where he met Johnston at a baseball game. Their first date was a trip to the popular Hanson’s Drive-In where burgers, shakes and fries were delivered by carhops.

Roye was seriously injured in an aircraft accident in 1958. After his recovery, the couple decided to marry in June of 1959 in Phenix City, Alabama. Roye said he can still recall asking the justice of the peace how much he owed him for performing the marriage. According to Roye, the preacher said, “How much is she worth?”

Roye still jokes about paying the preacher $5.

Roye was transferred to Peru, Indiana where he was stationed at Bunker Hill Air Force Base. He left the Air Force in 1960 and the couple moved back to LaGrange for several years. They moved to Miami, Florida where Roye obtained his A&P License. He was offered a job at the Atlanta Airport with Eastern Airlines, where he worked for 30 years as a lead mechanic. 

Many years have passed since the two attended Troup County High School. They have lived in the Atlanta area since 1965, and they have three childre — Donna Roye, Lynn Smith (Bobby) and Rob Roye; along with three grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.

Anyone who graduated from Troup County High School in 1956 is encouraged to contact the Roye’s at